Eyes and No Eyes (1875)

Libretto by W. S. Gilbert
Music by 'Florian Pascal'
[Joseph Williams, Jr.]

Cassandre, a wealthy farmer,
     in love with Nicolette
Stuart Rabinow
Columbine and Clochette,
     his nieces
Carol Mastrodomenico
Candace Zaiden
     brother of....
Jerry Tegeder
Erik Steigen
     an old coquette
Joanne Messier

The Royal Victorian Opera Company
Wayne Ward, music director and pianist

Reviewed by J. Donald Smith

This work occupies an anomalous place in the Gilbertian history. While written before Trial by Jury, it was not staged until afterward. It is the most finely crafted and dramatically 'tight' of the Gallery of Illustration operas.

Eyes and No Eyes is Gilbert's version of Hans Christian Andersen's "The Emperor's New Clothes." The convolutions associated with a cloak being first described as visible only to true lovers, then, in accordance with a plot twist, being visible only to 'flirts', brings Gilbert to a level approaching that of the 'higher' Savoy operas. Like A Sensation Novel, the work was rescored by Florian Pascal. While the music still smacks of Debussy, it seems to fit here better and makes for a lively, enjoyable and extremely well-crafted performance.

Issue History
1996[none]VHS-NTSC[no number]